Wednesday, August 23, 2006

My First Month

Time sure flies when you're having fun!! I am exactly one month and 1 week into my fabulous Sisterlock journey and I can say with all unequivocal sincerity that I have loved every minute of it!! I must really be honest, I truly prepared myself for an 'adjustment' period with my locks, where I felt I would question my decision, or I would not truly feel comfortable in my hair. BOY WAS I WRONG!!! I am sooo proud to say that NOT 1 day has gone by that I have second guessed my decision, or thought that my hair didn't look Good!

I've been swamped with work and home life these past several weeks, so I haven't had the chance to post pictures of my first month. However, I just had my FIRST Retightening (yesterday) and I wanted to be sure I captured the look of my locks at this moment in time. I'm doing this in parts - Part I will be the close ups and Part II (which I will do in the morning when I've applied some make-up to this tired face) will be another head shot.

I experienced a true defining moment yesterday - My husband and I, along with our little one, were out and about town doing some shopping for the home in a local craft store. As I approached the check-out counter (my hubbie and son waited for me up front) the sales associate smiles and says 'Your Sisterlocks are beautiful!' Now, this may not seem like such a momentous thing in and of itself - mostly because Sisterlock wearers are on this end of such compliments quite often. However, in this city, where there is nary a Sisterlock wearer OR consultant to be seen anywhere, such a compliment is THAT much more sweet to the ears! So, I quickly replied, 'Oh, you're familiar with Sisterlocks? Why thank you!!!' She said, 'yes, my best friend, who lives in D.C., has been locked for 7 years. I seriously thought about getting locks, but I always find a reason to chicken out!' I said, 'I know what you mean, I went through the same thing until I finally asked myself, why are you afraid? What is there to lose?' She said, 'you're right, maybe I'll reconsider it again.' I said, 'you will not regret it, I promise!! ' This marked a special day for me. I felt like - Finally! Someone who didn't look at me as if to say (but never say), 'I wonder what she has in her hair?' Someone actually knew about this glorious locking system and complimented MY hair, at that!! A good feeling, indeed! I am so thrilled!

Ok, I really have to do better with taking these photos of myself, or I need to enlist my husband to help me out 'cause this is rediculous. I can never get a good view of my hair! But for now...

Thursday, August 03, 2006

My First Week

My Sisterlocks are exactly one week old in these photos. I tried to style my hair in a way that I would feel more comfortable wearing...boy am I glad I got my hair cut before getting the sisterlocks. At least I have some resemblance of a style! ;-) The pictures were taken at a family reunion. I took them so that my friends & family could see. I believed they all believed I would look like Whoopi Goldberg or a rastafarian. I now have the opportunity to educate them on this wonderful world that's been opened up to me! This especially goes for my dear husband. I think it will take a while for all of this to sink in for him. I'm taking him on this journey with me so he can become aware and develop and informed opinion.

Returning to work after the locks were installed, was a bit scary. Although, my direct department doesn't have alot of ethnicity (I'm like one of 5 out of 50 - 75) I was nervous about the inquiries I would possibly receive. Surprisingly, everyone said it was cute. Many thought I had extensions. Some were intrigued by the tiny 'braid-like' locked roots, while others didn't even notice that my hair was locked and probably wouldn't know what it meant anyway, so I didn't waste my time explaining. All in all, it was a good feeling. I am becoming increasingly more confident about my hair. I was very self-consious about the oil thing in the very beginning. In fact, while in the chair (confession time) during my locking session, I was thinking...no oil?...yeah right. I will lightly oil my hair - cause I can't do without it! - and she'll never know...of course that was until two things happened, the first: my consultant told me how much a session runs if you're having to have slipped locks retightened/done. As if that weren't enough by itself...the second: in these first two weeks, I have realized that my hair can 'be' without adding a ton of products to make it 'shiny'. I found that, while my hair is a bit frizzy, I can STILL see SHINE!! And...it bounces too! I never would have thought it! One small problem, I sure hope someone out there can help me with this: I find myself scratching my head, and I don't believe that it is best for my young locks. What do you think? Is there a technique for those who just received their locks and are experiencing dandruff problems?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Taking the Plunge into the world of Sisterlocks

Fast forward to July 21, 2006 - the day I took the step that I know will have a most profound impact on my life, as I know it. The process, for me, took approximately 17 hours to complete (My consultant was great! She never waivered and remained on course to make those locks ever so small - just like I wanted. She was really fast too! Couldn't believe I was done so soon!) over the course of two days. I'd forgotten to take the totally 'before' picture to show my entire head pre-sisterlocks. But, my consultant endulged me by roughing up my hair a bit in this picture. ;-)

As those first locks were being created, I thought...YES! Finally! I prefer smaller locks, so I hope that my locks don't expand too much due to the density of my hair. I always find myself looking on line to different blogs and such trying to find sisters with a similar hair type to mine so that I can get a better idea of what I can expect as my locks mature....anyone??? Drop me a line if you think your hair texture looks similar to mine and you have mature locks...please? I'd love to hear from you! Here are more pictures from my initial locking session:

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

To Lock, or Not to Lock...That is the Question.

After having several years to ponder the question: Are you really ready...I finally took my heart and mind on a journey to the soul. I asked myself, what are the reasons why you are 'not sure' you want to commit to Sisterlocks? Are those reasons enough to cause you to, again, reconsider? The reasons I was toiling over, though I really don't think I wanted to admit it were: Truly...how will I look? I've read that each person's hair type will determine how Sisterlocks look and feel. With my coarse hair, my thoughts were...will I look ugly? I thought, I don't have the soft curly hair that many sisters have...the kind that my husband describes as having 'good hair'...which leads me to my second thought to ponder...will my husband find me attractive? He is one who has always adored long, soft, and straight hair in women. Lord knows I've had my trials and tribulations trying to meet that perception! To no luck. Surprisingly, I found that I finally reached a peaceful place inside with this and thought, this is me. This is my hair. Me and my nappy, coarse hair ARE attractive. If he, or anyone else for that matter, doesn't find me attractive and / or desirable once I take this step...tough!! And then finally, the last thought I pondered was, will I get tired of it...really. Will I? Will I want to sport bone straight hair again, even for a short time? To tackle this mis-guided concern, I thought...this is meant to be a lifestyle change, Drea...get with the program! Realize that your natural hair can do many, many things with a little creativity and with the flexibility that Sisterlocks can enable. And that was it! After those 2 additional months of brooding, I was finally there. Here are a couple of pics of my hair, post the last set of braids, and soon after my Sisterlocks consultation...I have test locks in there somewhere...

My hair had been highlighted and pressed in this photo. I had about 1 1/2 inches of new growth. In this first pic, you can see how damaged my sides and ends were/are. I had been sporting my last set of braids since my third trimester of pregnancy. After giving birth to my son, and trying to make my way as a new mom, my hair took a back seat and was forgotten...always the case with microbraids.
It looks pretty shiny, huh?